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Installing Wall Paneling

    • 1). Locate the studs. Most likely you will be installing paneling over top of plasterboard or old plaster, so the location of each stud is very important. If you are doing a new installation, the studs will already be visible, so you can skip this step. Mark each stud on the wall and establish what type of spacing is present (i.e. 16 or 24-inches on center). Please note that panel installation always go better with framing members that are 16-inches on center.

    • 2). Find the first stud that is 48 inches from the edge of the corner. If there is one at exactly 48 inches you are in luck. If not, proceed to the closest mark that does not exceed the 48-inch width of a sheet of plywood and mark that stud.

    • 3). Take a 4-foot level and make a line that is right in the center of the stud and perfectly level.

    • 4). Cut the paneling to width. Beware that the corner of the room may not be square with the line that you made with your level, so check closely. This cut should be made with a sharp utility knife and then smoothed down with a small block plane.

    • 5). Cut the paneling to height. Again do not assume that the height is uniform across the entire sheet of paneling. Double check to make sure. Take note that most paneling can be cut with a sharp utility knife and a 8-foot straight edge. All you have to do is run the knife over the line a few times until the knife cuts through the panel. Also there are specially-made circular saws that can do the job. They have smaller blades that spin at a higher rpm, so the saw can make a clean cut.

    • 6). Make all auxiliary cuts. That includes doors, windows, electrical outlets and light fixtures. For a nice looking finished job make these cuts as tight as possible.

    • 7). Nail the entire piece of paneling to the wall. Use special panel nails and make sure they are long enough to penetrate the paneling and the sheetrock or plaster. Short nails are available for paneling that is directly applied to the wood frame. Nail to each stud going from bottom to top and then proceed to the next framing member.

    • 8). Complete the rest of the wall going one piece at a time. Make sure every 4-foot piece should fall directly on a stud. If this is not the case, then you will have to make an extra cut. Certain styles of paneling take better to this shortening than others, so it might be a good idea to check out the framing structure of the room beforehand.

    • 9). Start and complete the next wall in the same manner.

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